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Difference Maker: Erin Kienzle
TV meteorologist, WTAE TV
Name: Erin Kienzle
Company: WTAE TV
What I do: TV Meteorologist
Quick description: Give daily forecasts on local TV and radio.
Describe your work – what you do on a daily basis…
I come into the station (sometimes at 3am!) and look at different computer models to create my forecast. As a meteorologist, I analyze clouds, upper air patterns, humidity levels, temperatures etc. We look at several levels in the atmosphere just tell folks how warm it will be and if it will rain or snow.
After making my forecast, I go move on to my graphics. I create surface maps, the 5-day forecast and all the fancy graphics you see on TV during the weather cast.
Then we go on the air. On a regular basis I get about 3 minutes to give the forecast for 20 counties in our viewing area. My job is difficult because we forecast for Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, and the Panhandle of Maryland. With the mountains, valleys and all the subtle differences in terrain, the forecast can vary greatly across the viewing area.
What do you like to do outside work?
I love to run, bike, cook and read.
How/When did you know you’d be a (scientist) someday?
I always loved science classes. I can’t remember a specific moment.
What are the most difficult challenges of your work? What are your favorite parts of your work?
Probably one of the most difficult parts of my day is waking up at 2am!
My favorite part of the job is the challenge. The weather is always changing which keeps it interesting. I also get to meet some great people through work.
How does math and science change the world? How are you changing the world?
Math and science make the world go round. I don’t know if I’m changing the world… however, I would like to think I’m helping people make their lives easier.
Kids rely on my forecast to decide if they need to wear a jacket to the bus stop. Brides watch us to see if it’s going to rain on their wedding day, and farmers watch to decide when to harvest their hay. I think a TV meteorologist touches a lot of lives.
Who was your inspiration?
What was your favorite subject in school?
Strange answer – Spanish.
What advice do you have for teen girls today?
Be yourself. Follow your passion. Do what you love.
Describe yourself in one word…
How can we learn more about what you do?
Visit our website at http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/wtaenewsteam/9368694/detail.html